Announcement | Winners of Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research, 2020-2021

Announcing the Winners of this Year’s Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

Brown University Library is pleased to announce that Cal Turner ’21 and Olivia Golubowski ’23 are the recipients of the fifteenth annual Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Library Research, generously funded by Douglas W. Squires, ’73. This award, established in partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, recognizes undergraduate projects that make extensive and creative use of the Brown University Library’s collections, including print and primary resources, databases, and special collections.

Cal Turner ‘21 “Finance and the Other in The Merchant of Venice” 

Comparative Literature

Cal Turner ’21

Cal Turner’s paper, “Finance and the Other in The Merchant of Venice,” written for Prof. Connie Scozzaro’s ENGL1361P Shakespeare’s Girls, pulls together a variety of research threads to explore the interactions between the economics of early capitalism and the language of exchange in Shakespeare’s play. Contributing to Cal’s interest in the topic was Pembroke seminar Narrating Debt, on theoretical frameworks for understanding the role of finance in literature, which he was also taking. According to Prof. Scozzaro, “The final result of Cal’s paper is a graduate-level English paper that could, with the right resources and mentorship, be worked into a journal article…”

Cal’s research for this paper began in JSTOR and EBSCO, surveying existing scholarship on finance and the Merchant of Venice. The online Encyclopedia Judaica had information on money-lending and anti-Semitism, and Early English Books Online yielded other uses of financial terms such as “usury,” “lottery,” and “fortune.” Cal also used the Oxford English Dictionary for the semantic evolution of these words. 

The paper is a wide ranging and well researched analysis, based on primary and secondary sources that explain and support each other. Cal is able to discuss the rise of finance and its justification for members of the dominant culture as lottery and fortune, and its negative role as debt and usury, when practiced by racial others and foreigners. His research ultimately connects the financial language of Shakespeare’s play to the financing of colonial expansion in the Americas.

Olivia Golubowski ‘23 “Neanderthal Dietary Reconstruction Via Analysis of Microremains in Dental Calculus”

Anthropology

Olivia Golubowski ’23

Olivia Golubowski’s paper, “Neanderthal Dietary Reconstruction Via Analysis of Microremains in Dental Calculus,” written for Zachary Dunsett’s ARCH1774 Microarchaeology details a research proposal to investigate Neanderthal dental calculus for food microremains, so as to support or revise theories about the Neanderthal diet. According to Prof. Dunsett: “Ms. Golubowski went above and beyond what was expected for the paper, and deservingly received a 100% on the

paper, and an A in my class. During my short time of Brown, this has been the best (and most realistic!) archaeological science paper I have read.” 

In order to develop her proposal, Olivia demonstrated thoughtful and creative use of library resources: she surveyed different topics in a general way. After she identified a domain of interest, she grounded her hypothesis and methodology by researching about Homo Neanderthalensis and the relevant scholarship, then reading dental journals, to learn about the study of dentition and, specifically, dental calculus, then identifying locations and condition of Neanderthal skulls to figure out where she would perform the analysis. 

The paper leads the reader through theories of Neanderthal diet, which was assumed to be based on hunting large animals, and contributing to the Neanderthal demise. Olivia explains how microemains from plant matter and carbohydrates are embedded in dental calculus, and what processes should be used to examine them. She identifies the criteria for selecting which skulls and which teeth might be sampled. Her hypothesis, that Neanderthals had a varied diet, eating a mixture of plant and animal foods, leads to broader impacts which could change how we see the interactions between H. Neanderthalensis and H. Sapiens.